Wednesday, April 14, 2010
When Jesus Passed By
Traveling with my Daddy could sometimes turn into an ordeal. Having traveled extensively in the early days of his ministry, he was familiar with many of the major highways across the eastern United States. Being a native of the mid-south, he was also familiar with many southern routes as well. I remember many times, as we were traveling, that Daddy could tell a story pertaining to his previous journeys on the same road we were now traveling on. He knew so many people and could tell so many wonderful tales about them all. Consequently, he would want to stop and say hello to many of his friends and ministerial colleagues as we traveled along. He would often say, "I can't come this close and not stop to visit for just a while. I cannot drive on and just pass by the good friends God has given me.". So, we would pause long enough to enjoy some wonderful fellowship and prayer together and it seemed that the journey was sweeter after each visit. Such a change sweet fellowship in the family of God can make in your life.
As I read and study the precious Word of God, I find that many changes occurred in the lives of people each time that Jesus passed by. His fame and reputation preceded Him and many would come to where He was, hoping that He would choose them to receive His healing touch. No one who came in contact with Jesus was ever the same afterward. Those who received healing, deliverance, or forgiveness, would be willing to follow Him to the ends of the earth if need be. He was, indeed, the manifested Word of God, living and breathing among us. Possessing the same Divine nature as well as the same righteous character as His Father in Heaven, Jesus never turned His back on any one. Rather, He gave until His natural body was weary and, even then, continued to meet the needs of those to whom the Father had sent Him.
Wherever Jesus went, something changed. A life was restored, demons made to flee, blind were made to see, lame were made to walk, deaf ears opened to the sound of His voice, and little children were held in His arms. Oh, how glorious that must have been---to be physically present when Jesus passed by. I am reminded of the words to a very, very old gospel hymn:
"When Jesus passed by,
When Jesus passed by.
Gone were all the heartaches,
The trouble and strife.
Just reach out and touch Him,
He'll hear your cry,
All things were possible
When Jesus passed by."
I am so very grateful that Jesus passed by my broken, shattered life one day. He came to me when I was not strong enough, or well enough, to go to Him. He came to where I was, He passed by the dark place where I was hiding from life, and He lifted me. He picked me up, gave me a new purpose, changed my vision of life, and filled that life with possibility. He added hope where there was none, joy where there was only sadness, and gave me laughter for my tears of pain. He has not been easy to follow, but I dare not lose my vision of Him. "Where He leads me I will follow, I'll go with Him, with Him, all the way."
The presence of Jesus, my loving Savior, makes life an adventure. It is a journey I make gladly, regardless of what tomorrow may bring. I smile when I read the Biblical accounts of those who were touched by His loving hand. Sometimes, I don't realize that I am smiling as I read. My little grandson, Gabriel, once asked me what I was smiling about when I was reading my Bible. I told Him that it made me happy to read about others whose lives were changed when Jesus passed by. He then looked up at me and said, "Jesus makes us happy." Hmmm, even a child can tell the difference when Jesus has passed by.